Education Loans in Pennsylvania
Free Pennsylvania education financial aid is available to students through grants and scholarships. Pennsylvania student loans provide an alternative or supplemental form of funding support for students who do not qualify for grants or scholarships or who find their free financial aid packages insufficient to fully fund their college enrollment expenses. Unlike grants and scholarships, which typically do not have to be repaid, student loans must be repaid and interest is charged on the borrowed funds. To find the best student loans in Pennsylvania for your needs, it is important to understand the types of loans available and how they differ from one another. To learn about the different types of loans available, continue reading the sections below.
Federal Student Loans in Pennsylvania
Two types of student loans, federal and private loans, are available for students pursuing postsecondary education. Students will be provided the opportunity to take out federal students loans in Pennsylvania when they receive their financial aid award package from the college in which they are enrolled. As the name suggests, federal loans are provided by the federal government. Private student loans in Pennsylvania are available through sources including banks and professional lending institutions.
Federal students loans are available in several types:
- Subsidized loans
- Unsubsidized loans
- Direct Plus loans
- Perkins loans
To be eligible for subsidized student loans in PA, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate program, and their financial aid applications must show a clear financial need. The maximum amount students may borrow through a subsidized federal student loan is limited by their need, as calculated by the information provided on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Pennsylvania student loan repayment requirements for subsidized student loans offer an important benefit. The recipient will will not be required to pay any loan interest while he or she is enrolled in college, during a six-month grace period after graduation and during deferment periods. To learn more about subsidized loans and other forms of student aid, you can download our comprehensive guide today.
Pennsylvania education financial aid is available through the Federal Perkins Loan Program to qualifying students at any level of post-secondary education who demonstrate severe need. A Perkins student loan has an interest rate of five percent, and they are not available at all institutions. Availability depends on institutional participation in the program and a given college's funding levels.
Unsubsidized student loans in Pennsylvania are available to students at all levels, regardless of financial need. The maximum amount a student may borrow under an unsubsidized loan is determined by the institution at which he or she is enrolled. Unsubsidized federal student loans in PA charge students interest over the lifetime of the loan. Students may choose to defer paying interest until six months after graduation. However, student loan payment for unsubsidized student loans will require the recipient to the interest that accumulates during that time.
Direct PLUS Pennsylvania student loans are available to students at the graduate level or to the parents/guardians of students enrolled in undergraduate programs of study. These loans are generally relied on as an extra funding option when students or their parents have exhausted other loan opportunities.
Borrowers with multiple federal students loans in Pennsylvania can choose to merge them into one Direct Consolidated loan. This student loan option can deliver significant convenience over the lifetime of the loan, as it streamlines communication with your lender every time you experience a life change such a name change, a move or a change of your college enrollment status, or in the event that you need to negotiate a deferment of your student loan payment.
Federal student loans in Pennsylvania can be used to pay for standard college expenses, such as tuition, fees and room and board. These funds are usually paid directly to the academic institution at which a student is enrolled. Any additional funds left over after these costs will be paid by the institution to the student and may be utilized for other education-related expenses. PA federal students loans are automatically offered to eligible students as part of the FAFSA-generated financial aid package. To maximize the likelihood of being offered federal education financial aid, simply complete your FAFSA as soon as possible each academic year and carefully review your financial aid package, including any education scholarships or grants, when it arrives.
Private Student Loans in Pennsylvania
Private student loans will be subject to terms that differ widely between lenders. Borrowers may be required to make Pennsylvania student loan payments on interest and/or loan principal before they have graduated, and the interest is never subsidized. Interest rates on private student loans in PA can be significantly higher than equivalent federal loans, and deferred payments may not be available. Unlike federal loans, many private loans will be paid directly to the student and will carry fewer restrictions on how the funds may be used. To learn more about private loans and other forms of student aid, download our complimentary guide.
How to Find the Best Student Loans in Pennsylvania
To determine the best student loans for your needs, begin by learning how to complete a FAFSA application. Your eligibility for federal students loans in Pennsylvania will be determined in part by the resulting award package. Next, contact the financial aid office at the institution in which you are enrolled to determine if your school participates in the Perkins Loan program. Once you have received your Pennsylvania education financial aid, you can survey private lenders and compare their loan terms to any federal loans that you have been offered. It is important to remember to calculate your future student loan payments under your various loan options to ensure that you will be able to meet the repayment requirements when they become due.